The Boston Bruins finished the 2023 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, N.Y. losing the final two games of the tournament but Providence head coach Ryan Mougenel was impressed with the players’ effort.

“I think winning is important at times too,” Mougenel told reporters, as seen in team-provided video. “I there’s lessons learned both ways. I thought a lot of the guys showed really well.”

With Bruins training camp slated to open later this week, Mougenel said the tournament could give some of the prospects a “leg up” because they were in game-time action.

“The real bullets kind of start to fly,” Mougenel said. “Some of those guys are gonna push for a job and I think they might have a leg up just because they’ve been getting bumped around a little bit and understanding what it’s going to take to compete.”

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Defenseman Mike Callahan played in his first full pro season last year in Providence potting one goal and adding seven assists in 55 games. Entering the second year of his two-year entry-level contract, Callahan impressed Mougenel in the tournament.

“Callahan showed that he was really kind of outgrowing the tournament,” Mougenel explained. “I thought he was outstanding. I hope he carries that into main camp. He’s come a long way. I think he’s ready to push. I’m excited for him.”

The Bruins acquired the rights to Callahan from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2024. He played four years for Providence College competing in the Hockey East conference.

“He’s always been the very responsible and safe player for me,” Mougenel said. “He completes a lot of plays. Makes a lot of positive plays. He’s first back on pucks and makes positive plays. And then, he’s got a certain hardness to him that wasn’t necessarily built into him. He’s put it into his DNA. He’s really bought into how we play.

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“He’s just a high-quality person and wherever he is this year, if he’s with us in Providence, we’re gonna count on him to be that leader. We think that highly of the person, the character, the player (he is). So I’m excited about his growth, his development.”

As a defenseman, Callahan will most likely spend another season in the AHL because the Bruins have a pretty solid core of defensemen in Boston with Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort returning along wit veteran blue liner Kevin Shattenkirk, who joined the Bruins in free agency.

Featured image via David DelPoio / USA TODAY Sports Images